Will Dodge’s New Charger Share The Ram Pickup’s eTorque Engine?
Dodge is discontinuing production of the current Charger by the end of 2023. If we do get an all-new Dodge Charger for 2024, what drivetrains will it have? Will there be a hybrid or fully electric version? Will other trim levels borrow the eTorque hybrid engine from current Ram pickup trucks? Here’s everything we know so far.
What we know about Dodge’s new Charger
Dodge has not even confirmed it will build a 2024 Charger. But as CEO Tim Kuniskis attempts to future-proof one of the oldest car brands, the Charger name seems too popular to abandon. What’s more, the Charger name would be very relevant for a plug-in hybrid or full battery electric vehicle. Kuniskis actually said, “If a charger can make a Charger quicker, we’re in.”
What Kuniskis has also said is that Dodge will only build the Charger for 24 more months. He said Dodge is “feeding the beast” with powerful special editions for two more years. Then, by 2024, all future Dodge products will be on all-new chassis.
Dodge’s parent company, Stellantis, went into more detail at its 2021 “EV Day” conference. It said its new “American Muscle” vehicles will all share its “STLA Large” chassis with their European counterparts. “STLA Large” will be an evolution of the chassis underpinning Alfa Romeo’s current four-door sedan and SUV. It will support several types of drivetrains: internal-combustion-based mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full battery electric.
The Dodge Charger’s Jeep cousins will offer a plug-in hybrid as soon as the 2022 Wrangler 4xe. What’s more, Jeeps SUVs and Ram pickup trucks already offer mild hybrid systems, trademarked as eTorque. In the Ram specifically, eTorque pairs an electric engine with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 shared with some Dodge Chargers.
Ram’s eTorque system adds a mild hybrid drivetrain to a HEMI V8
There are several categories of internal combustion/electric hybrid drivetrain. Mild hybrid systems feature an electric starter engine powerful enough to move the vehicle.
In RAM’s eTorque system, the “starter” is a combined electric motor and generator making an additional 130 lb-ft of torque. This motor is connected to the 5.7-liter HEMI by a serpentine belt.
The eTorque system shuts off the Ram’s internal combustion engine while the truck is rolling to a stop. When the driver starts out, the electric motor spins the entire driveline to launch the truck. As the vehicle gathers speed, the HEMI V8 fires up and takes over.
In addition, this electric motor also provides power to assist the HEMI during shifts. Finally, when the driver taps the brakes this motor turns into a generator, slowing the truck and powering up the electrical system. The eTorque motor is powered by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack located behind the Ram’s back seat.
Ram and Dodge already share a lot of technology
Ram pickup trucks was previously Dodge Ram pickup trucks. Then Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) chose to split off the brand. It is not surprising that Dodge vehicles share a lot of technology with Ram trucks.
Dodge vehicles and RAM trucks share the storied HEMI V8 engine. As FCA (and later Stellantis) improved this drivetrain, both brands benefited. For example, the automaker pioneered a multi displacement system (MDS) for the HEMI engine. In V8s connected to an automatic transmission, the MDS system shuts off half the cylinders when the driver does not need the extra horsepower.
This year, Dodge announced its eMuscle initiative. Why is the automaker going electric? In Dodge’s words, “performance made us do it.” This makes sense, considering the all-electric Rivian truck trounces the Charger Hellcat in acceleration. It is likely that some of this new muscle car technology will come from advanced Ram pickup trucks.